[Recipe] Herbs de Provence Chicken Meatballs in a Cremini Mushroom sauce with Rainbow Quinoa
So I was craving a bit of comfort food…but I didn’t want anything too heavy, you know? So I thought to myself, what would be scrumptious but not have me completely bomb my daily calorie-count for the week, lol!?? Meatballs!! They are one of the most universal comfort foods, with every culture having their own spin, using different spices, meats, cooking methods, etc. I decided to make my meatballs with a French flair by adding Herbs de Provence, a dry mixture of herbs typical of Provence, a region in France. My mixture had savory, rosemary, fennel, basil and thyme but there are several commercial mixes available which should suit your fancy!
You’ll need to muster up these ingredients:
· 1 ¼ cup water
· Pinch of salt
· 1 cup rainbow quinoa (any variety will do)
· 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
· ½ cup panko bread crumbs
· ¼ cup 2% milk
· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 ½ tsp herbs de Provence
· 1 tsp salt
· 1 tsp white ground pepper
· 2 tbsp EVOO
· 2 tbsp flour
· ¼ cup onions, diced
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· 1 lb cremini mushrooms
· ½ cup diced tomatoes, drained
· ½ cup 2% milk
· ½ cup chicken broth
· 1 tsp herbs de Provence
· Salt and pepper, to taste
And now you can get in the game:
Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer (the grains are too tiny for a colander) under cold water for about 15 seconds. In a medium sized pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the quinoa to boiling water, reduce the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 30 minutes then turn it off; keep the lid on for an additional 10 minutes. Take off lid and fluff with a fork.
Now, preheat the oven to 450ºF. Combine the chicken, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, garlic, herbs de Provence salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix just until combined, but not too much, you don’t want to make the meat tough.
Divide the meat mixture into about 12-15 formed meatballs and place them onto a rimmed baking sheet (line with wax paper for easy clean-up). Bake them until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a large saucepan to medium; add the EVOO. In 15 sec add the flour and whisk about 1 minute (do not let darken). Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir. Then gradually whisk in the milk and broth and bring to a boil. Add the herbs de Provence and turn the heat to simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the sauce and using tongs, add the meatballs to the mushroom sauce and gently toss to combine.
In a large bowl, place a small serving of quinoa, top it with a “healthy” portion of meatballs in your mushroom sauce and dive in!